The more things change, the more they stay the same. We’ve all seen the AT&T television commercials where they perfectly illustrate when a surgeon walks into the room and say’s he’s “okay” and they quickly share that “okay isn’t okay”.
At Appnet New Media Studio, we feel the same away about websites. So many prospective clients come to us ready for a brand-new website and they quickly share that they just want a small website; perhaps four or five pages or maybe even ten pages or so.
This is what we call “the Field of Dreams Syndrome” – you know, “Build it and they will come.” Okay, the exact phrase is “Build it and he will come”, but you get the drift. Most people have the mistaken impression that you can launch a new website, albeit a small one and traffic will simply start coming to the website.
Television commercials featuring GoDaddy, Wix, Squarespace and Web.com all make it seem a reality. However, nothing is further from the truth. The fact is, like many things in life (and in Texas) – larger is better. To be clear, small websites, under 30-40 pages, have no chance of getting ranked on Google for competitive industries in competitive cities.
Search Engine Optimization has always been about content, content, content. Content means “PAGES”. The more content, the more Google will reward your website with higher rankings.
Search Engine Optimization in 2020 has taken that concept to a completely new level. Content NOW means “quality content” and quality content means pages with more than 1600 words on them!
A website without content and good SEO is like a bus roaming aimlessly down a street without a driver. Your website needs a driver and that driver is SEO.
Why would you trust your Search Engine Optimization to a firm that has no rankings themselves? We see this every day.
And there is SO MUCH MORE to know in 2020
NOW Google is looking for a number of things when it comes to SEO and ranking a website.
Nearly anyone can build a website these days. However, if your website is clunky and full of bad text wrapping, images that load slow, etc., it will affect your rankings.
If your website shares expertise in your field of business, and your website exudes authoritativeness, and trustworthiness – you will see improved Domain Authority. E-A-T has been a part of Google’s guidelines for years, but it was amped up in 2019.
SLOW IS NOT GOOD
A slow loading website is a definite website fail. Google is also grading website for ranking value on page speed. However, even if your website were to rank well, visitors will become frustrated with a slow website and leave.
BACKLINKS ARE KEY
Let’s think about backlinks in a new way. If I were a billionaire and wanted to run for President but I didn’t go out and get people to vote for me, I’d lose. BACKLINKS are “votes”. Your website has to have amazing content or you’ll never get links and without BACKLINKS or a LINK BUILDING CAMPAIGN as part of your search engine optimization strategy, you won’t crack the first page of Google search.
GOOGLE LOCAL or GOOGLE MY BUSINESS MAPS
Google Local now accounts for some of the best strategies for getting really good traffic (that converts into customers). Getting ranked on MAPS is every bit connected to the same strategies as SEO. In fact, here at Appnet New Media Studio we consider Google Local as or more important that any other part of a successful, organic search campaign.
CLICK THROUGH RATE
You could spend a year adding content to your website, but if the average visitor hits a page or two of your website and leaves, Google knows that and they will lower your rankings. You have to make sure that every page has good call-to-action to ensure that visitors will click around and ultimately do business with you. The lower the CTR the more your website will underperform on Google. Your pages need to scream “CLICK ON ME” or else it will be ignored.
CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT
We probably should have put CONTENT first on this list, but too many people get caught up in that subject and quickly discount this very important need for any website to rank well.
Still confused about the need for content? Try this bit of clarity.
Let’s illustrate the need for content by using a heating & air conditioning company. You could assume that all your website needed would be a HOME page, ABOUT US, SERVICES (where you could bullet-point all your services on one page) and a CONTACT page. You might feel you’re splurging a bit if you added a page for REVIEWS.
So you budget for five pages and launch the website and NOTHING HAPPENS. (Insert, crickets chirping.)
Where CONTENT enters the picture would be to take every one of those services that a typical heating & air company would offer – like: heating, air conditioning, cooling, air quality, humidifying, dehumidifying, AC, HVAC, new installs, repairs, maintenance, furnace repair, duct work and the list could go on and on and on.
Each one of those services needs a PAGE to share authoritative content about how your firm would handle those services. They need to have supporting photos and call-to-action that would entice visitors to become clients.
Content that doesn’t match search intent simply won’t rank, no matter how large the website is.
tend to tell Google that others feel your website is authoritative, trust-worth and shows expertise in your field.
Search engine rankings now depend on the mobile-friendliness of your website.